Follow the latest news from the Collections Team at Maidstone Museum. Each month, we bring you an update on events and developments at our museums.
Japanese Collection visit: On December 1, we had a research visit from Japanese Print specialists Dr Asano (Director of the Museum Yamato Bunkakan and Abeno Harukas Art Museum, Japan), Tim Clarke (Head of Japanese Section, British Museum), Dr Matsuba, and Vanessa Tothill. Looking through our Edo Period Japanese Woodblock print collection, they were particularly interested in our prints by the famous artist Hokusai, creator of the iconic ‘Great Wave’. After seeing most of the 600 works in the collection, they agreed that there are works held in Maidstone that they have not seen anywhere in their 30 years’ experience of Japanese prints around the world.
Museums on Prescriptions continues: The innovative ‘Museums on Prescriptions programme’ has been continuing, with the first series ending on December 18. Working with University College London and Canterbury Christchurch, the project – with a second series starting this month – expands the Health and Wellbeing work of museums working with older people from the community, with weekly sessions looking at the various collections across all three of Maidstone’s museums.
National Trust Carriage Collection, Arlington Court: Our Collections Manager, Samantha Harris, visited the National Trust Carriage Collection, Arlington Court, Devon for a study day organised by The Carriage Foundation. With carriages, vehicles, and other artefacts similar to those at our Tyrwhitt Drake Museum of Carriages, it was a fascinating visit. Members of the Carriage Foundation were particularly interested in visiting Maidstone and working with us to fully understand and interpret the carriages.
Fossil insect research: Phd researcher Richard Kelly has been researching our collections of fossilised insects. Working alongside Maidstone Museum volunteer and fossil insect specialist, Tony Mitchell (the original collector and soon-to-be donor of this part of the collection), Richard is making fascinating findings for his thesis.
Keys to Jerusalem: The Keys to Jerusalem went on their annual loan to the 20th London Regimental Association annual dinner. At the time part of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent, the 20th London Regiment were presented with the keys at the siege of Jerusalem in 1917, which is how the Keys arrived in the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regimental Museum collection.
Inspirational visit: We had a visit from West Kent and Ashford College, who will be creating works for their course and installing an exhibition in the museum’s Withdrawing Room later this year. The day included a tour of the museum behind the scenes, as well as a session speaking with collections and interpretation teams about what amazing artefacts we have and the work we do. We look forward to seeing what creative pieces they produce, which have been inspired by the museum and its collections.
British Museum Roman Coins: Our Collections Officer Rebecca and Registrar Pernille attended a study day at the British Museum to receive training on the identification and documentation of Roman coins. After meeting with other enthusiastic and knowledgeable coin specialists, many of whom aim to visit us and see our collections too, the experience will be of great use when we work with our numismatic collections in the future.